A Circle of Souls Reviewed By Cindy Bauer Of Bookpleasures.com
View all articles by Cindy Bauer
Author: Preetham Grandhi
Publisher: Sweetwater Books
Preetham Grandhi, MD, immigrated to the United States from India to pursue a career in child and adolescent psychiatry. He currently resides in Westchester County, New York, with his family.
The sleepy town of Newbury, Connecticut, is shocked when a little girl is found brutally murdered. With the murderer on the loose, the police desperately look for any clues to lead to his identity. Meanwhile, a psychiatrist in a nearby hospital is also in a desperate search to find the cause of seven-year-old Naya Hastings devastating nightmares. Afraid that she might hurt herself in the midst of a torturous episode, Naya s parents have turned to the bright young doctor as their only hope. When these two situations converge, they set off an alarming chain of events. In this stunning psychological thriller, innocence gives way to evil, and trust lies forgotten in a web of deceit, fear, and murder.
In this debut psychological thriller by new author, Preetham Grandhi, a seven-year-old named Naya Hasting, now in the care of Dr. Peter Gram, a psychiatrist appears to be communicating through her dreams with recently murdered, ten-year-old, Janet Troy.
But that’s not all! Thirty years prior, there was another murder committed in almost the same manner and now the town of Newbury, Connecticut has something to worry about. Are the two murders connected? Do they have a serial killer in their midst?
Once Dr. Gram realizes Naya must know more about the recent murder of little Janet, in whatever unorthodox manner, he decides to try to help the FBI find the killer through Naya, who sketches images from her dreams and chillingly, are the only clues the FBI has in their search for this faceless, “bad man”.
Dr. Gram and FBI agent Leia Bines, an expert in cases involving children, combine their efforts and specialties in this page-turning, gripping novel. Naya also talks to the dead girl while sleepwalking and during their conversations, Janet shares snip-its of information the FBI on the case don’t have, including information never brought forth to the public on the never-solved murder three decades ago, making the case even more puzzling and the story, more intriguing.
Preetham Grandhi backs up his plotting with his own medical knowledge in psychiatrics, making the story even more fascinating and believable. With each chapter broken down into time periods during days in a week, Grandhi’s ever-twisting plot, descriptive prose and attention-grabbing dialogue will keep the reader engrossed as the author draws the reader deeper into the crevices of the mind of a disturbed child.
Also, Grandhi has masterfully blended the suspense of a thriller with the Federal agent assigned to the case and the psychological knowledge of the doctor assigned to the child whose parents have entrusted him with her care.
In the end, Dr. Gram is forced to accept the many lives a soul has actually had previously and his own past lives eventually led to the person he is today, compared to the person he was in another time, another realm. This isn’t easy for him to deal with at first.
As a debut novel, the author has done very well and I’m looking forward to future works. A definite must read!